With just 48 hours until “showtime,” Southern Lehigh Chamber officials last week learned of new COVID-19 safety regulations that would take effect Saturday, potentially preventing the Coopersburg Tree-Lighting planned for that night from being held.
Instead of canceling the event, however, chamber staff and business sponsors pivoted to make the event a drive-thru holiday celebration, in order to comply with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s Dec. 10 order that outdoor gatherings be kept to under 50 people through Jan. 4.
“We were determined to still host some type of celebration so our community could have something to enjoy after a year of cancelled events and quarantining,” said Ashley Lorah, Assistant Vice President of Affiliated Chambers for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, on Monday.
Lorah said the quick shift to a drive-thru event during which families stayed in their cars the entire time worked out well, all things considered. Volunteers were stationed outside Coopersburg Fire Co. No. 1 to hand out hot chocolate kits, candy canes, Santa hats and other giveaways such as stuffed animals, yo-yos, slime, coloring pages and craft kits.
“In addition, Santa, Elsa, Olaf (characters from the film ‘Frozen’) and the Grinch joined the procession to bring joy to attendees,” Lorah said. “Before the drive-through portion of the event began, we hosted a quick tree-lighting ceremony with Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong and Coopersburg Mayor Gary Hovis.”
Additional photos from the drive-thru holiday celebration may be found on the Instagram feed for the GLVCC’s Affiliated Chambers (@glvcc_affiliatedchambers) as well as on the Southern Lehigh Chamber’s Facebook page.
The event was sponsored by numerous local businesses, including Saucon Source, J.P. Mascaro & Sons, ServPro of Western Lehigh County, Potts’ Hot Dogs, Thrifty Car Sales, The Goddard School of Center Valley, Creekview Veterinary Hospital, QNB, G&T Auto Body, Keystone Consulting Engineers, Hausman Fruit Farm, Designing Wealth Management of Raymond James and BB&T now Truist.
The Hellertown-Lower Saucon Chamber hosted a similar type of holiday drive-thru event–part of a Holiday Weekend Extravaganza it organized the weekend after Thanksgiving–which drew hundreds of motorists to Morris J. Dimmick Park.